It's taken me awhile to write my review because I don't know what I can say that will add to all the already great reviews and information already detailed for the wonderful Royal Hideaway Playacar. It really is a great resort, perfect really. The location is absolutely fabulous. I loved being able to walk into Playa whenever we wanted. The size of the resort is perfect. I love the smaller, more intimate, and quiet atmosphere. The service was simply out of this world. Our concierge was awesome and made everything that we asked for happen. Every night he'd put a few glasses of wine in our bar fridge for me. On our anniversary our room was filled with balloons and champagne. And every dinner request was met without any problem at the restaurants and the times we wanted - even when we asked to change reservations on short notice to dine with new friends that we met. As noted, you can make reservations before you leave home and all of our requests were honoured.
We stayed in building 24 which is the closest to the beach and the pool. It was great but there are very few ocean view rooms here and our balcony faced directly onto foliage blocking the resort next door so we didn't ever enjoy our balcony which is usually something we do every evening. There is a lovely little lounge area past the Deck with excellent views of Cozumel and a very nice, quiet place to enjoy a before dinner drink though.
The pool side service during the day was absolutely fabulous. As noted, mid morning fruit kebobs are brought around as well as wonderfully smelling, chilled face cloths. In the afternoon they will bring around a water mist spray to spray your face. When you get up and leave your chair, by the time you get back a pool concierge has been there and flattened and tucked in your towels to your chair. It was amazing! As hard as I tried, I couldn't get the towels to tuck in like that!
We found the rooms to be just beautiful, spacious and lovely bathrooms.
The best part of this resort, hands down though, is the food. You won't even believe it. It's like dining in a five star restaurant every night. And I'm a foodie. It was really that good and the food is the most important part for me. Las Ventanas, their signature restaurant, was far and away the best. They have a goat cheese arborio rice with wild rice and an almond foam that my mouth still waters for. And the rack of lamb is just amazing! We also very much enjoyed our dinners at the Italian and the Japanese restaurants and the Grill was very good as well which we understand has recently benefitted from a change to their menu. They have a gorgonzola shrimp appetizer that was to die for.
During the day, the Deck has a great pool side menu (the Calamari is excellent - you must try it)! Spices was only open for lunch a couple of days that we were there but we did go one day and had the beer battered shrimp and mahi mahi with a chipotle aioli which was just outstanding! The buffet breakfast at Spices is also awesome. Las Ventanas was not open for breakfast while we were there nor was the theatre.
So, do I have any complaints? I do have one. And it's really a personal issue that others won't even notice and many will disagree with me on. This resort is so high end, so impeccable in every way, and I think if they addressed this issue it would really cater to the high end clientele that they serve. When you arrive at Spices for breakfast you are asked if you want to sit in the smoking or non-smoking section. We, as well as many others we saw, asked for non-smoking so we were seated inside (no air conditioning) instead of on their beautiful deck with the beautiful view and open air which we love on vacation. On the following day, we asked to be seated outside. No one smoked out there at all during the whole week we were there except once. That day we heard others complaining about it as well. On the third day, we weren't asked if we wanted smoking or non-smoking but rather whether we wanted to be seated outside or inside. Now don't get me wrong, I agree that smokers are entitled to an outdoor space where they can smoke, but it shouldn't be the only outdoor eating area available and to the disadvantage of the non-smokers. Unfortunately, this was also the case at the Deck and all of the outdoor tables. All tables had an ashtray on them including on the chairs outside of Spices where no one sits, all the outdoor tables in the lobby area, in the tea area, and (understandably) outside the bar. The funny thing is there were very few smokers there so it seemed they were catering to a clientele that isn't really there. I personally just found all the ashtrays around to bring the level of class of the resort down. I would suggest that when someone asks for an ashtray in an outdoor location they should be provided one but to have one on every outdoor table everywhere was unnecessary for such a classy place. But I'm partiuclar and just don't like the look of them.
Other than that, an absolutely perfect resort!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Award winning luxury all inclusive resort set along the beautiful beaches of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Ideal setting in a serene environment for complete rest and relaxation. Adults only. Member of The Leading Hotels of the World. 2008 winner of the coveted AAA 5 Diamond Award. 11 villas with private concierge are spread throughout the property's immaculate grounds. Six gourmet restaurants serve delicasies in menu-style dining. A full service spa offers the ultimate in papmering and body treatments. Personalzied service and attention to detail set this resort a world apart. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Hideaway Playacar And Occidental Resorts
- Royal Hideaway Playacar & Occidental Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Hideaway Playa Del Carmen
- Royal Hideaway Mexico
- Occidental Royal Hideaway
- Royal Hideaway Playacar Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico